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Power of two

By Ajay Singh     July 25, 2007

However smart your mobile phone may be, it still hasn't made your computer redundant. So instead of waiting for that holy grail of 'one-device mobile computing', why not just sync your mobile with your PC and enhance the power of both the devices? We tell you why and how.

MAKE INTERNET CALLS

There is nothing like the thrill of making free (or almost free) calls to anywhere in the world right from your mobile phone. All you need is to down -load an enabling application software to your mobile. Fring is perhaps the most popular mobile VoIP application. You can call Gmail, MSN and Skype contacts with your mobile phone through Internet connection. Fring is compatible with the SIP protocol and is available for download at www.fring.com

MOBILE AS A WEBCAM

You can turn your camera phone into a wireless webcam for laptop/PC so you don't need to carry your bulkier webcam— perhaps you won’t even need one. A caveat: in our tests we found the applications to enable this function limited and far too time consuming. And they work only with the Symbian mobile software (used by most mobile makers). The applications we tested out are: www.warelex.com/products/webcam, www.motvik.com/about-wwigo.php, www.movino.org (for Apple users)

ADVANCED ORGANISER

This is the most basic advantage of synchronisation —send and receive e-mail via mobile; transfer your mobile phone contacts and calendar to your PC and vice versa via MS Outlook and explore the multimedia features of your phone on your PC. Mobile phone tools include ringtone software so you can make your own ringtones and transfer them to your phone. Then there are the wallpaper and video editing tools to personalise your mobile phone exactly the way you want. All this just a click away at www.mobtime.com

DATA STORAGE DEVICE

The advent of memory cards in mobile phones, either as as flash drive or hard disk, has turned them into storage devices too. Now you can carry all your documents in the palm of your hand. You can easily transfer files between your phone and your PC. With most mobile phones this software is already integrated, so it will show up as a removable disk on your computer the minute you connect, but should your model not support this, install it from the software CD that came along with your phone.

SMS FROM YOUR COMPUTER

To type text messages easily on the keyboard of your computer and have them transmitted from your mobile is one big convenience. For the ultimate in ease, sync your mobile with your PC wirelessly using Bluetooth. Your phone can be in your pocket as you send messages from your computer. Microsoft SMS Sender is a Windows program for sending text messages from a PC via a GSM mobile phone. It can be downloaded free of charge from Microsoft’s website: www.microsoft.com/globaldev/outreach/dnloads/smsSender.mspx

CONNECT TO THE INTERNET

In the rather unlikely event of having to work on a computer that is not connected to the Internet, your mobile can transport you to the world wide web. All you need is a GPRS-enabled mobile phone, now common, a connection kit (usually a data cable or Bluetooth and software available from your service provider) that connects your mobile to your laptop, your ISP information (this varies from mobile to mobile, so contact your provider for details) and a data plan. The downside—data speeds aren't much faster than 10-15 kbps.

THREE WAYS TO SYNC YOUR MOBILE PHONE AND COMPUTER

1. Via a USB cable: most of the new mobiles and certainly the smart phones already come along with the cable. This is the fastest way to transfer data but carrying the cable may be a pain.

2. Via infrared: all laptops have this inbuilt facility nowadays, just like mobile phones. But maintaining uninterrupted connection on infrared for prolonged periods can be quite nerve-racking.

3. Via Bluetooth: what it lacks in terms of speed is more than made up by its range, scope and wirefree promises. Currently Apple is the only player offering computers that integrate all three.


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